Love Them First: Lessons from Lucy Laney Elementary follows the determination of a charismatic north Minneapolis elementary school principal, Mauri Friestleben, as she sets out to undo history. But when the school encounters a heartbreaking setback, Friestleben confronts the true measure of student success. It's a story of inspiration, heartbreak, perseverance and the power of love.
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Reviewed in the United States on December 10, 2019
Fantastic documentary! The teachers are passionate and dedicated and the students are beautiful and intelligent. The principal is one of the most inspiring people I have ever seen. Watch it!! I hope the amazing Sophia and her brothers are healthy and happy and in a forever family. They deserve to be loved and encouraged and I am pretty sure we will see more of Sophia in the future.
Reviewed in the United States on November 28, 2019
This is an inspirational story of educators and the children they teach and love in a low-income neighborhood. I hope the love persists. I was moved by the film's artistry in every way. Standouts were the still photographs that capture moments of relationship and deep caring. A must-see for any human being with a heart and a mind.
Don't let the classification of Love Them First, as a "documentary" fool you into thinking this is a stale, clinical analysis of an under-performing school in a tough neighborhood. This is a story of the precious lives of vibrant, young children and their loving, caring teachers and school administrators, fighting against all odds. It is a must see for any educator or family with a child in an educational setting. It also shows that growth isn't always accurately reflected in standardized test scores. It is a tear-jerker and is inspiring! Take the time to watch it!
When we were on our adoption journey we met Mauri Friestleben and Lisa Pawelak. Their love for their students and their philosophy on education was so uniquely inspiring and beautiful that we knew Lucy Laney was going to be at the top of our list when we were blessed to adopt 4 amazing children who needed a school that loved them first. Sending our 4 children to Lucy Laney was the first and best parenting decision we ever made and with this incredible film the world can see why. It is our family’s deepest hope that everyone sees this film and is motivated to make change to the way we educate, empower and evaluate how our schools and students are doing that supports our children to reach all the potential they have.
A pair of journalists from KARE 11 TV in Minneapolis wanted to tell a more in-depth, a more thought-provoking, a more impactful story about what it means to go to a school where students are considered "left behind." This documentary not only accomplishes all of that, but so much more. Thank you for giving us a window into a world that most of us would rather turn away from and thank you for showing us that even during some of the most difficult times there is hope. Highly recommend!!
I watched this one Saturday afternoon and was in AWE. I love the Love and Devotion that all the staff have for those children. It would be awesome to see where they are now. Praying that Mrs.Mauri Friestleben's labor reaped GREAT rewards.
Thank you for opening our eyes to your experiences. I pray that this positive experience continues for these wonderful kids in middle and high school! I hope everybody that watches is able to "love them first"!